Have you ever considered fixing your own car? It can seem hard to work through the process of getting your car repaired, but the rewards are many. By doing minor repairs yourself, you can save money and extend your car’s life. You can see how it’s possible to do your own auto repair by reading the following tips.
When you are experiencing car trouble, you may not have to call a mechanic. Some jobs are simple and do not need to be taken to the auto shop. You can take your chances by going on the Internet to find some information to see if you can locate the problem. If it is not a very difficult job, you can save some money by doing the repairs yourself.
Ensure you regularly inspect your radiator. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. You should never open the radiator of a car that is running. Use a dipstick to check the amount of fluid in the radiator. You should also make sure to mix coolant fluid with water before you pour it into your radiator.
Look up reviews online for body shops in your area. This is a good way of getting an idea on what other customers think of the mechanic’s skills and customer service. It will allow you to find a shop that has everything you’re looking for.
When you are shopping for a repair shop, take into consideration whether they have worked on the same type of car as yours. This will give you a better idea of their experience and the skills that they bring to the table.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These parts are original and from the manufacturer. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. It can appear like a deal right now and cost twice the amount later as OEM components to begin with.
Regular washing of your car will help prevent it from rusting. When you keep your car clean, rust will be held back. Waxing your car helps protect the paint.
You should not leave anything inside your car if you need to take it to a repair shop. The technicians may have to move out these things to fix your car, and they cannot be held liable if anything goes missing. Remove all items from the trunk too.
Every time your car is repaired, no matter why it is, keep a record of the repair. These past invoices can help the mechanic to diagnose your car if need be. No records means a blank slate to go on.
Keep a tool kit for doing auto repairs in your trunk. The basic tools you will need include the tire changing equipment which should have come with your car. If you’re missing a lug wrench and jack, then you need to buy one. Basic tools such as screw drivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, torque wrench and other basic tools are also handy to have. Always purchase quality tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. It is easier on some vehicles than others, however no matter what type of vehicle you have it will be cheaper than hiring a mechanic for the job. Find out if anyone in your family can do it and could pass along their knowledge to you.
Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. Good mechanics will inform you of parts wearing down that need replaced soon, but they won’t replace them without getting your approval first. Do not take your care twice to a mechanic who performed some unnecessary repairs.
You do not necessarily have to go through your dealership if repairs are needed. There are great techs everywhere whether there’s a great shop 10 minutes from your house or whether you decide to go to the dealer further away. Whoever makes you feel most comfortable is the person who should be doing the car repairs.
Make sure you replace old parts with OEM parts. These parts are the same original parts designed by the manufacturer. While generics are much cheaper, they are not held to the same quality standards. What may seem like a deal now can cost twice as much as buying OEM in the first place.
Only use a mechanic who is certified. Look for a seal of approval or N.I.A. If they have this approval, you know they are skilled and will probably get the results you desire.
You need a spare tire and jack with you all the time. A lot of newer vehicles are already equipped with these things. Stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire is bad news. Stuck without a jack and spare tire is bad news and a big bill. Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
There are no auto parts that will last the entirety of your life, and you shouldn’t buy any products that claim to do so. Often, that’s their way of getting more money out of you. For example, you can find cars that come equipped with “lifetime” fluid in their transmission. This shouldn’t have to be changed quite as often as standard fluid, but it should be changed every 80,000 miles.
Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. Some shops have these costs in conspicuous places, so you need to carefully read and ask any questions you have if something doesn’t make sense. Also find out how you are to be billed. Shops also often give you estimated repair costs and times. Even a minor job might take all day.
It’s not uncommon to drop your vehicle off at a garage, only to return and discover a few expenses have been tacked on. They often try to make you think you’re getting a great deal. Do not let a mechanic make repairs on your car without permission, and shop around for better prices if your mechanic suggest additional repairs.
Look at all lights that flash on the dashboard and learn what they mean. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. Whatever problem they are indicating will only get worse the longer you ignore it.
When a mechanic gives you a diagnosis, don’t make a decision about repairs for a couple of hours. Call other shops to see how much repairs would be before getting work from the first mechanic. Sometimes, you may find a better price and save a lot of money.
Be sure that you make a note of your oil change schedule. If you want your car to run the way it should, its oil needs to be changed regularly. Failing to get routine oil changes will shorten you car’s life, so set reminders if necessary.
When storing your car, you can minimize the potential for repairs if you place the vehicle upon jack stands and fill the tank. Place your car in a dry area during storage, to avoid rust. Also, leave the parking brake off.
Keep your car washed during the winter. Believe it or not, the winter months are tough on your vehicle. Sand is abrasive to your paint, and salt will make that damage rust quickly. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
Ask your mechanic to give you the old parts that had to be removed. This will ensure that they did the work for you. With some repairs, like replacement of an exhaust system, this is not necessary. Ask your mechanic to show you the old exhaust system to make sure he installed a new one.
Do not start working on DIY projects unless you are sure of yourself. Always have someone around to assist you in case there is an emergency. Only invest in the best tools available. This is very true for things such as tire changing tools. Keep in mind that a jack needs to securely hold up your vehicle, especially if you’re going to be under it. Therefore, it is vital to purchase a hydraulic jack with strong stands.
Speak with people you know to see if they can recommend a mechanic for you. Your friends’ experiences can give you a good idea of who is trustworthy. It’s much better than taking a risk with a shop that nobody you know has previously used.
When you fill your car with gas, check tire pressure. Inspect your tires at this time, looking for anything that has become embedded. If you notice a problem with your tires, get it fixed immediately. You don’t want to take any chances by driving with weak tires.
Devote some time to learn all about your vehicle and how it runs. You should never completely rely on your mechanic whenever an issue arises; however, unless you spend time learning all about your vehicle, you will continue to rely on this person. Oil changes and flat tires for example, can be attended to more cheaply yourself.
Take pictures of your entire vehicle before taking it to the shop to get repaired. Some disreputable garages will strip your car in order to up their bottom line. You should make sure you keep track of the way your vehicle is looking just in case something like this were to happen.
The first obstacle you face with your car’s repairs is your mechanic. You never want to enter into business with a shady mechanic. Be wary of mechanics that won’t answer your questions or make direct eye contact with you. They generally will be hiding things, like the real cost of the repairs you need done.
If you see a small problem in your vehicle, you should take your car in to check it out anyway. There are some small problems that could quickly become serious and expensive to repair.
You can protect the interior of your vehicle with some rubber, heavy-duty mats. They will protect your carpeting from salt, mud and slush. There are a necessity during any harsh weather.
No matter what a mechanic tells you, be aware that flushing your engine is an exceptional procedure. It is definitely not part of your car’s ordinary, routine maintenance. It is quite expensive and usually only necessary for engines in very bad shape. There is a good chance they are just trying to “pad” your bill, unless your engine is in real trouble.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to getting your car fixed. You need to know exactly how much your repair will cost and exactly what the mechanic will be doing. A reputable garage will be more than happy to provide you with a written estimate.
You should be consistent with where you get your car repaired. Try to remain loyal to one trustworthy shop instead of taking your car to a variety of mechanics. Different mechanics might tell you something else is wrong with your vehicle. You may also have to pay more because they charge varying amounts depending on where you go.
As you comparison shop between garages, look for mechanics who understand your vehicle. Make certain whoever is doing the repairing knows about your make and model. If they do not have any, consider another mechanic.
Always keep your ears open to the noises coming from your car. Noises can be a great indicator of problems your car is having. If possible, describe the sounds you noticed to your mechanic so they can quickly diagnose the issue.
Unless you know your stuff, don’t fix your car alone. You could cause more damages and even void the warranty if you make a mistake. This means you will have to pay for any future problems.
Repairing your car on your own shouldn’t be intimidating anymore. What’s under the hood can look foreign, but after you learn about the individual parts, it’s easy! Remember the tips in this article for reference. Fixing your car is possible if you use these tips.
If you need to take your vehicle to an auto shop because of a noise or because it does not handle well, let the mechanic ride along with you so you can point out the problem as it actually happens. This allows the mechanic to see what kinds of things you are dealing with. Sometimes, it is much easier than trying to explain a mysterious sound or shimmy.